Posts by: Emily Skeels
In Western culture we are so disconnected from the breath’s power to keep us healthy and to heal. It is normal for people to shorten their breath when they are stressed out so before I started practicing yoga, I never really paid attention to the fact that my breath was so shortened. One of the most important things that my yoga teachers at Boundless have instilled in me is that allowing the breath to expand in the body is the key to a healthy practice, mind and body. I like that there is not an overemphasis on control of the breath at Boundless but that through steady practice, an awareness of the breath is cultivated.
James Foulkes is great at showing his students how to begin to breathe into parts of the body that have been neglected for so long. He showed me that I needed to focus my breath into my back body in order to eliminate the tension that I felt in back bending asanas. We have practiced bridge pose in almost every class and his approach is to take as long as one needs in order to soften and breathe before moving into the shape. My shoulders are one of the strongest but tightest areas in my body so I would depend on them to push me up into the pose which just created more tension in my shoulders. James has shown me that I should wait for the breath and that in doing so it is possible to actually let the breath guide my body up into bridge. Focusing on the natural state of the breath is the best way to decrease the tension in the body and to guide a body into the asana shapes whether it is through backbending, inversions or forward folds.
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